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Catholic Society

    What it Means to be Catholic
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    Are you a Catholic student? Or just interested in learning more about the Catholic faith?   

    Come and join us, the Catholic Society! As a community, we encourage each other to grow in faith in God and virtue – as Christ would have us be, for St Thomas Aquinas said: 'There is nothing more on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.'  

    In more regular times, we organise transportation to Mass at a nearby parish, as well as having regular talks about anything about the Catholic faith. 

    Modern Office
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    Clementi P Loh Khai Teng, Secretary

     

    Student Email: cpl1@ hw.ac.uk

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    Benedict Kiwan Richard, Chairperson

       

    Student Email: kar2000@hw.ac.uk

    Club Email: hwum.catholic.society@gmail.com 

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    Woman with Bible
    What it Means to be Catholic
    07:01
    Brian Holdsworth

    What it Means to be Catholic

    All the great religious traditions have been this attempt to penetrate the mysteries of ultimate truth and ultimate reality and come up with an understanding of it that can be taught to others. And just like with other forms of knowledge, we’ve always had this tendency to settle for an incomplete picture when it comes to the things we believe. But with religious truth, it gets even harder, because of this dimension of mystery. Because truth, the whole truth, is something that is far bigger than we are. Whether God exists or not, one thing is for sure, and that is that there is a God sized something behind all reality. And this is a problem for us, because this means that we have to accept a dimension of mystery in our religious knowledge and this makes us feel small, humble, and vulnerable and for whatever reason, we don’t like that. GK Chesterton has this great quote about the difference between poets and logicians. He says that, “The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” Whatever our picture of all truth is, it should be broad and it should leave a lot of room for mystery. As soon as we realize that the heavens don’t fit in our heads, we settle for an incomplete version that does. And this is what the Catholic Church has always tried to push back against, and not without it’s own stumbles along the way, to be sure. The word Catholic was first used by St. Ignatius of Antioch in the year 107 AD in a way that described the universality of the Church as found in the ministry of its bishops. He was portraying a Church united as a whole rather than one isolated by its constituent parts. A few centuries later, St. Augustine used the word to differentiate between heretics and the true faith because by then, there had already been several attempts to try to reduce the scope of the Christian faith to some cheaper rationalization. You see Catholicism describes itself as the fullness of the faith, but from the very beginning there were people who wanted a faith they could rationalize – one that would fit within their limited capacity for reason, one that didn’t require them to accept the residency of mystery. And this is what all the major heresies were an attempt to do. So among the earliest heresies there was Arianism which couldn’t comprehend how Jesus was both human and divine. So they went with just human. Then there was Gnosticism which was this strange regression of Judaism and Christianity into pantheism. Then there was Pelagianism which couldn’t make sense of God’s grace as a necessary component of salvation, so they just went with the idea that you can save yourself through your our own moral effort. Fast forward about a thousand years and the protestant revolution happens which was grounded in the sola doctrines. Sola being Latin for “alone”. The Alone doctrines were reductions where they said things like we are saved by faith alone or Scripture alone is our authority. This created a more simplistic and narrow view of the Christian faith. With each new heresy, the Church’s response was always to say, "No, truth is bigger than what you’re proposing. You need to widen the scope of your lens enough so that it does not discount mystery." So, the definition of “Catholic” that I’ve always felt represented this dynamic best is “according to the whole” because the Church maintains and preserves the whole vista of truth even when we might want to narrow our gaze to just focus on some small aspect of the truth. So, It’s not faith alone, it’s faith and love. It’s not scripture alone, it’s scripture and tradition. Catholic, in this sense, means, not narrow minded. It doesn’t accept some counterfeit, small, compromised version of the truth even if it’s more palatable. When someone tells you that you should be a socialist because you believe in caring for those in need, you remember that justice isn’t found by confiscating private property. When someone tells you should be a protestant because they have less rules, you know that less doesn’t mean more in this case. When someone tells you that science is the only way to know what’s true, you remember that there are dimensions of truth that exist outside of our intellectual capability. Twitter: https://twitter.com/briankeepsworth Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brianholdsworthmedia Business: https://www.holdsworthdesign.com